tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 3, 2012 6:00am-7:00am EDT
>> are we more expecting that sort of examination or revelation of the personal tax and peccadilloes -- ticks and peccadilloes? there were times we help candidates up to a special level. have we leveled to the field? >> of course we are, because there was no mystery -- there is no mystery to it. television was introduced from england. there's no mystery to it. television was introduced around 1939 from england. and the great new yorker said it would become the chautauqua of the air, where great debates took place between learned people. now television did not come into politics until 1948, the first convention. and 1952, the story goes that
the colonel in chicago who worked for mayor daley was sent by mayor daley to the auditorium and he looked around and he saw a man who turned out to be the producer. and he asked how many people will watch this? and he replied, colonel, i think about 48 million. -- wel harvey's reaction can never allow that. [laughter] >> i think that captures it great. to say that many of us do hope to see more when we watch these debates. more of the candidates. more of the journalists. but we expect far less. we know from experience now what happens. and we know that, by and large, it neither candidate does anything outrageous, the attention goes to those small things we have got to talk
about for the next 24 hours for the remainder of the election. >> are we entering an era in which the rhetorical measurement is if you lose as opposed to if you win. would you say that is the circumstance to which candidates -- winning is nice, but not losing is the thing. >> that could be what they are looking at. the risk factor is so high, but not losing is sometimes more important. this year for obama in particular. >> the fact that the headline seems to be -- the gaff ise of the headline. >> -- the gaffe is the headline. >> i am wondering what would be the most important thing for me to look at when i am watching the debate.
what would be the number 1. the debate is open. what should i be looking at? >> my perspective would be the thing you want to look for is, democratic leadership. how does this person perform democratic leadership? as americans we have conflicting expectations that the president be democratic, or ordinary, someone who acts like we would, someone who will subordinate themselves to the public will and be a public servant. someone who was democratic and with the people, but someone who is leaderly, at the top of the hierarchy. someone who is extraordinary and can take charge of public problems rather than just take order. and there has to be a very delicate balance. that seems to me what gets overstepped. that is what i look at. you look at times when it is overstaffed.
george w. -- george h. w. bush looking at his watch, it seems to be a violation of the democratic connection. it seemed like he had some are better to be been reporting to the citizens. the caucus example is another one. he did not seem to connect with people. someone brought up door in 2000 purity seemed to act superior with the sighing -- someone brought up gore in 2000, he seemed to act superior with the sighing and head shaking. and gerald ford claimed there was not soviet domination of eastern europe. it became important when it did not seem important to people there at the time. he did not seem to have command of the idea as well enough to be leader. and most recently, john mccain
in 2008 seemed to moffett on the leadership side before he even got to the debate by suggesting that the debate be postponed so they could stay in washington and work on the bailout project. that made him look unleaderly because he really could not do much about that personally anyway. but he did not also seem to be able to handle multiple problems at once. i think that will be important in this particular year. the two candidates have opposite problems. nobody doubts that obama can relate to the people. that he is likable. that he can balance or do the democratic party. what we are wondering is, where is the leader early part? there is a four year pattern where there is not as much change as we had hoped. and romney is known as a take charge, ceo leader. but the big challenge is showing his democratic and like the rest of us.
>> democratic with these little "d." >> yes. especially after the comment he made. challenging for both. >> you can arm wrestle. you are closer to the mic, go ahead. >> one of the issues this year, the legion of fact checkers will beat -- how each candidate chooses each version of the truth. i think the promise of this new format does allow the two of them to mix it up. the question is, how did they call each other on truth? a spoke yesterday with bobb who is going to moderate the last debate, which is foreign policy.
and i said, what is your role if one of the other says something that is not true? >> he he said if it is outrageo, i will step and. but it is designed to let each of the candidates say that is not the case. at the very least, it will make for a pretty good tv watching. and one of the hopes is that they do not go too far in misrepresenting their opponent's record. >> this has been a year for the fact checkers. if the candidate did not say so many factually incorrect things -- what i was going to say, i was reminded by catherine's mention of the ford incident. the fact is that the overnight polls did not show that the public was aware that he had made this horrendous
misstatement. it was only after a week of the press incessantly talking about the incident that the polls turn around and people decided that he had lost the debate. what i like to do, we have the debate watch at penn state on campus. we bring 200 or 300 students in to watch the debate. so they can make up their own minds about the debate and not listen to the spin doctors to form their opinion. >> what i remember from the first debate, and there are only two candidates, not three, was that throughout the entire debate, or so it seemed to me watching with my naked eyes, but it seemed to me whenever nixon said, kennedy just looked at him and smirked. which played into kennedy's hands. he did have the indian side on
that nixon. nixon gave him a poor family. he was clumsy. and he was defending an administration that he is not only in support of. >> what is the first thing you want to see as the debate began? >> that is an interesting question. i think maybe what i want to see is nothing. and maybe for the first time i will turn the tv on, walk into the other room and listen. and see what can be cleaned by focusing on what is being said, -- what can be gleaned by focusing on what is being said. >> we can stand by them. but that goes to the radio point
of people who are listening to nixon on radio. >> i am listening for things that are said by the candidates, and especially things that i can then go back and verify after. to listen for claims, for arguments that i can go back and say, is this something that is real, that is credible? and then look out for other information that either verifies or --. >> i want to make a comment on the appearance of thing. that is so interesting that the comments that he did not see anything unusual about nixon's appearance. the her been at least two sets of studies that go back and look -- there have been at least to a set of studies that go back and look at your discrepancies in the nixon-kennedy era. and with the first one found,
they did it in 1987, they went back to find what the actual evidence there was between -- behind the repeated claim that nixon won on the radio, kennedy won if you are watching on tv. they found there was no good empirical evidence. all of the big polls have linked together to viewers and listeners so there's way -- no way to tell. they could only come up with three rather anecdotal sources of evidence. one was from a reporter who worked for the atlanta constitution. how he got his information -- he asked people he knew to listen on radio. the reported back to him and said that nixon won. he repeated that notion. and of course, there's no check on sample size. no check on who were they committed to prior to the debates. were they already nixon supporters? we do not know. and on that same issue, the constitution of printed on the editorial page, a survey that
included only 15 people. the second source from someone who wrote for the new york herald tribune. that was a firsthand report impressionistic. the problem with that one was that there were covering the southern governors' conference that year. it was an -- in hot springs arkansas. they did not get the tv feed until later. he was with the governors and listened to them. they thought that nixon won. but 10 had come out against kennedy already. whether there were listening on tv or radio they probably would have thought that nixon won. and another that had real problems with the size and composition of the radio sanibel -- it was seriously flawed. not to say -- we do not have evidence.\ / \ / \ / \ / \
they went back and look at the newspaper reports in 1960 of the impressions. many of them were more similar to what sander vanocur talked about. the look at how they performed as leaders. but by no means dominating what was going on in the coverage. not simply who was having the right color suit on. they traced the story through newspaper reports later. you have to remember there's a 16 year gap. there were no debates in their. when a store gets picked up, it gets strained down over time to being primarily a story of appearance. in 1976, is still some memory of what happened in 1960 as they follow every four years.
i am not sure of the published in 2008 yet. it is a lesson we would be wise to be cautious of. >> was influenced this greatly is, back in 1960, we had a morning news cycle and an evening news cycle. and nothing in between. now you have not just your television, but also computers and so forth. -- a 24 hour a day news cycle. and in this news cycle, you have to fill the sound and the air. i call it the electronic tapeworm. and try to remember whether it is a candidate or commentator, whoever utters the words -- i do not know.
>> i was watching cable coverage of a trial. there had been an announcement before they went live. they opened the program by saying, the moderator said, this diplomat just happened. we have had a quick discussion. we do not know what it means. they went on for 30 minutes to discuss it. i thought it was an interesting moment. you do raise an interesting point. i am curious from each of you, while the debate is growing on, there's not as attractive a process that is possible, it did not exist -- i guess it was there in the 1980's. port yourself another cold one. today we are going to be -- pour yourself another cold one. now we can be tweeting. i am just curious.
from a journalistic and rhetoric standpoint. >> the ability to tweet your opinion of what is going on -- the campaign is very hip to this. they have people who are basically campaign tweeters, not people just sitting around in their living rooms or getting on facebook with their friends. when ann romney spoke at the republican convention, there were thousands of gop people just treating -- tweeting almost as she spoke a paragraph. you do not know how reliable that is. and i recommend that when people watch the debate, they watch it not just with those who think as they do. democrats should not just sit around in a room with democrats. they should watch it with their
opponent. because what is most telling, to me, is not what the spin doctors say, but if you sit around with people from opposing parties, they will say -- did he just say that? and so it will not be your bias. because you are for obama or romney. so, i think it is really, you need to not just be on your own. >> i could not agree more. that is why we do these debate watches. there are the young republicans and young democrats. and they have a discussion afterwards. return of the spin doctors. i would be suspicious of what i saw on twitter. based on the reasons you say. the campaigns are hitt to that. >> i think -- the campaigns are
hip to that. >> one thing i can say the tendency to do then is you are not really listening at the entire speech, you are listening to those things that interest you or that you think people falling you may be interested in. and that is what gets picked up. you are not are actually listening to the speech in its entirety and picking up the nuances that may be there. >> and i agree with that. someday i would say is that we are not going to change it. the point is, how you think about it? if we think about it as an opportunity to hold our leaders publicly accountable for this, i do not see anything wrong with people discussing this or during the fact checking at the same time. we are coming to the age of not just the debate being a job interview, but the primary
debates have been seen as a reality tv. -- as reality tv. i think there's something good to be said about public engagement when it comes to the increasing number of ways we can discuss the debate with each other. >> do you recall anyone saying after ronald reagan said, there you go again, whether that was spontaneous? program? we only know it was devastating. he probably forgot what he was talking about when he said it. >> this is the proper time to remind everyone about how to ask us a question if you are tweeting -- it is #ncadebates12.
we will be looking for those questions. and there will be forwarding those questions up here. for those of you who want to ask a question in the studio. we have been sitting in the viewers' chair. let us put ourselves, to some degree, behind the podium. and talk about the format. a few of you touched on the format. we have this town hall in the middle of the three presidential debates. how important is that format? and for each of you again, which format would you prefer? one of the two we are going to have this year, or the third one? let us go to the panel and said, format is important, i guess, which one do you prefer? let us start in the middle.
>> and never entered your original question. i can probably do that here about is not being real debates. there probably do not know that sander vanocur was a member of the intercollegiate debate team that was the national champion ship debate team. >> i do not know. [laughter] >> that our joint television appearances. i am not sure we would want a real debate. a real debate -- and intercollegiate debate is a hyper competitive the kind of activity. they talk 360 words a minute. i do not think we want that. the other thing people talk about is -- douglas.
they think that is the kind of format we want. that is a three hour debate on a single issue, about the extension of the territories, with these long half hour and hour and a half kind of things. i do not think we have the tolerance for that. we have to come up with something different. if we are stuck with the kind of a joint television -- i think the commission is moving in the right direction. i think this crated a situation where there was some showboating by young journalists try to make a name for themselves by asking the question that produced the big headline at the debate. >> did you see or hear much or any discussion about the two party's platform committee hearings? >> i remember, once a said to david brinkley -- once i said to
david brinkley -- there was a move to raise the speed limit, in certain northwestern states. it was turned down because one man said, what used to be for me a two bottle of beer is not a full case of beer. crux long drive. >> the thought about the format. the town hall debate, i do not know if you will show this from 1992 were the experimented with this. it produces some inariculate questions. >> let us take a look at that. [video clip] i think the national debt
affects everybody. it has a lot to do with interest rates. >> how has it affected you personally? >> i am sure it has. i have grandchildren. i want to think that they will be able to afford an education. i think that is important -- an important part of being a parent. are you suggesting that if someone has means, that the national debt does not affect them? help me with the question. >> i know people who cannot afford to pay their mortgage on their homes. their car payment. have had personal problems with the national debt -- i have had problems with the national debt. how has it affected you? >> i think she means more the recession, the economic problems. >> you ought to be in the white house for a day and hear what i
hear and see what i see. and touch the people that i touch from time to time. i was in a church. a black church. >> we missed the question. but the question was, how does the national debt affect you? he walked across and said, i feel your pain. [laughter] sitting here as a journalist watching that, i am struck by two things. the moderator is doing a lot of interpretation. but there seems to be a genuine moment. i remember him as a very controlled, very calm. nearly rising to -- you ought to be in the white house. that is an interesting line. that is a very human moment.
does this format -- those kinds of things? >> interestingly, i think this is a mitt romney problem today. if someone said, you have got a number of homes, your wife drives a couple of cadillacs. where money is offshore. how do you feel my pain? i think there will not be the surprise on his face when such a question comes in a town hall meeting. but again, any kind of window that we get even into their thought process when they are confronted with a sort of in articulated left field question really does help us understand who they are. and bill clinton just goes over there and does the walk on this person. and she is the only person in the universe. >> you feel my pain.
>> i do not think we wanted to go there. [laughter] >> i am not sure you want to follow that. but to go ahead. >> i think we are moving in the right direction. i think it is a good combination of formats. the town hall where you get questions that may be a bit unusual. complemented by the single moderator format. that may not be the case when have the panel. >> you have the other aspect -- you have these sustained blocks of time on particular issues. i think that is a good innovation. >> general format? >> i would agree. with the sentiment. that both of these formats we did anything that facilitates
greater interaction between the candidates and the public, or interruption amongst the candidates themselves is significant and productive. i think it is a positive move. >> the journalism profession seems to be coming out. would you still favor that? >> i do not know. journalism is the second oldest profession. look, i just think that journalism and mass media, television in particular, has intruded just too deeply into our society. i remember i did a project for the museum in nashville on the
post-war crisis in the media. and my dear departed friend of more than 35 years, pat moynihan was one of the people on the program. he said we used to talk to each other in the cloakroom on the senate floor, and conference committee -- now we talk to each other through the weekend talk shows. and television tries to create the idea is clean, and politics is not. politics is what we need more of. we need more cloak rooms. and we need left -- on television from politicians. >> we will try to avoid that here. [laughter]
we have some questions we will go to in a second. but very quickly again, given our theme, things we want to advise, some tips. and 30 or 35 second sound bites, was the most factor that a citizen should way when they watch these debates? we will moved through the panel. why do not we start with you. give us a brief answer. >> being able to make an adjustment about which candidate has a much more -- greater grasp on the information. the fax, what are they, our -- the facts, what are they?
are they truthful? listen for things that they can go out and verify and find out more information about an order to make a judgment about which of these candidates really has that grasp on the information that is relevant to the election. >> kathyrn olsen . >> i think you want to look for the balance with democratic leadership. look for attitude. who is the person who is going to face the unknowable challenges ahead. this is where we conceive them side-by-side in a relative judgments. and hold them to the standard of what we want in a leader. that is the opportunity i think we have. >> as a citizen, to be prepared
in your own right. do a little homework about the issues. you do not have to take whatever they are saying as the truth. go in there as an informed watcher. and without sounding like a lead of women's boater, go out and get registered. -- like a woman's voter. it matters. >> of believe it was 1988. they said, who won the debate? she said, i think that is a bad question. she said we ought to be saying, what did we learn from the debate. did you learn anything from beyond the sound bites that you heard on the campaign trail? >> i think there is only one thing you can do. all you can say is -- i wish i
had said that. >> we will go to first questions from twitter. and then the audience. given that all of the 2012 moderators are white and becomeent all media -- obsolete? >> i do not think it has become obsolete. perhaps a little slow and behind the times. and i think that the absence of people of color of the debate and the status of who was given credibility rather placement on of those things. in that way, there is something to be said for the commission being a little bit -- and not paying attention to that very descriptive kind of
representation and what it might mean for yours. >> will go to a question from the audience and then go back to twitter. >> michael hogan said he felt -- many of us watch c-span for hours at a time. and cnn, proven by the audience here, do not you think it would be fascinating to say to each candidate -- say what is on your mind. tell us something about yourself for an hour and a half. or an hour. would not get a better insight into the candidates, to just let them talk like that. >> it would draw a small audience. whether 80 million people would sit there for 3 hours -- i would certainly like to see more interactive exchange. we should push the format in
that direction. i do not recall who it was, we ought to push the people into a room with a typewriter and see what comes out after four hours. there's certainly an audience for a more deep, intellectual discussion. but, with a sore important about these debates -- there are so many people that watch the debate -- low-interest people that watched the debate. those are the people that would not watch that. >> from twitter -- and maybe you answer this with a little bit of a personal response -- when you yourselves or a voter watching wants to sort out the fact an error from what the candidate
says, do you do that during the debate, after? how would you recommend people to go ahead and make those kinds of personal fact checker -- >> another drink. [laughter] >> factcheck.org is one of them. i would wait until the debate is over. i would sit there with a net book. i think that people hearing something out of left field -- they should make note of it. i want to go back, for one second, about the point of face to face the bait. it is not whether there would be an audience, i think because the presidential debate commission is controlled by the republican and democratic parties, i do not think the campaign would go for it.
it is such a mine field. if you have two the candidates in a fairly controlled environment even with a skilled moderator letting them to go at each other worse during the debate, that is one thing. if it is just a complete free for all, i think the campaigns would never risk it. >> in the first debate, i that nixon wasworward one of the smartest politicians ever to be vice president, and of course later the president. and he was the most gracious. and that did not come across in the debates. now, why was that? no one seems to have asked that question. was he overhauled by kennedy's
wealth? his tan? that is what i would have wanted to know. when nixon did not bring those out any first debate as he did in the next three. i do not think it is an easy question. >> on the fact checking, one thing that i think is helpful is to go to multiple of the fact checking organization, there's the washington post. but go to several and get a consensus about what people have to say about the candidate's statements. >> we will go to a question from the studio. >> i have a question for charlton mcilwain. i have been intrigued by your academic work. looking at how candidates speak. how it influences the way candidates to interact with different audiences. for the first time we of a white candidate and a non-white
candidate. what are the challenges that each of them are going to have to deal with in being a president of color, criticizing against a whiten opponent. and vice versa for romney. >> two items. for romney, i think it is to not look arrogant. you remember that scene from 2008 where john mccain, and i forget what precipitated it, but he looks to obama and point at him and says -- that one. and that reference that really belittles him. many people looked and said this is a racial moment. i think mitt romney has the challenge of not coming off in that way.
for obama, i think it is not making any kind of reference to race as an excuse. i think to be safe, he has to basically not broach the subject, and certainly not on terms that would seem like his race is being used as an excuse. which plays into many people's already faulted perceptions about him. >> at any point in the political process, that is one of the most difficult issues america is dealing with. and we do have an african- american president coming in with the advantages of incumbency. anything particular we need to watch -- just for the incumbent versus the challenger? that we can put into our notebook about how to watch?
>> i do not know if this qualifies on how to watch. but one of the interesting things about televised debates -- there is greater opportunity for the incumbent to lose. and so the incumbent does not debate until 1976 when ford challenges carter, between 1976 and now, three incumbents get unseeded. not necessarily by the debate. but carter, ford and george h. w. bush. in the 80 years preceding, only two and cummins had lost. there seems to be something about the exposure that makes it risky. >> from this is an interesting -- from holly on twitter. this is an interesting question. of the candidates -- the
nonverbal aspect of their performance? or how they interact with each other? and the third option is how they answer the question. but this is interesting. [laughter] the lincoln-douglas format almost. nonverbal or verbal interaction. >> i do not know. >> i would say nonverbal. i would say there is a conventional wisdom that merely by being on the same stage as the president, the challenger is given enhanced credibility. and i think these two gentlemen do not care for one another. seriously. you know, we want to look -- really. and a little division. and that is a really fine line. you can be combative without
being unpleasant. i think, people still expect challengers to respect the office of the presidency. but they do not like the president. i think there really is a kind of ambiance factor. >> i would agree. and i would say it is a hard choice to make. i think the verbal and nonverbal will be important, particularly in this situation where so many attacks and allegations have been lodged. so inviting them to be in that they can say, account for that, really. -- so inviting them to be in that space, they can say, account for that, really. it will be telling to see what comes out of that direct confrontation which we rarely see. >> i think what is most important is your match between a verbal and nonverbal. whatever you say -- if the nonverbal, predicts that, the
question of your genuineness is up for grabs. the match between the verbal and nonverbal is primary. there's also an interesting body of literature on politeness. politeness and aggression in the debate and how you balance the two. we like our leaders to be assertive, but not over the top and condescending. we want them to be polite. but the balance between the two is fascinating. >> i think it will be an interesting year because of the nastiness of the political ads. and when they come on face to face, people do not like that. i would not expect to see that in these debates. but i have been wrong before. >> i think kathyrn olsen is right in terms of the -- i think there are implications for race. trucks will go to a question in the studio. >> one of the challengers in the
debates and one of the frustrating things for those watching it if they do not answer it. one of the discussions held at the museum, putting the actual question, as opposed to the general topic on the screen. so the viewers are asking the question presented, it is much more clear by the time the question gets asked, and the answer is given -- you forget what the question was. is that viable? impossible.rtainls it is in the hands of the handlers. and if the hands of the handlers -- is it in our national interest? what i hope we can do is. two people on the stage, or three. have a moderator and let them go at each other.
and keep everybody else out. >> i have a risky response given that there are two of journalists sitting next to me. but my interpretation of why they give lines of their stump speeches -- we talked a little bit about the risk involved in these debates in making a gaffe or misstatement. if they are not always are inevitably the headlines, if it was not about who lost and do one, i think there might be willing to take a few more risks. >> does the expectations game being played every four years now really have an impact on the way the candidates prepare? outside of what our questioner cause the media bubble. >> i think with the exception of chris christie, a republican who said this is a point to the
fabulous four mitt romney may come is a game changer. this is like total low ball expectations. presidents have been doing that for a long time. mitt romney has had 27 debates or whatever. i think the expectations game is a hilarious actually. >> i think the voters have come to see through the expectation game. so they know what is going on. but to the question, i do not think it affects how the candidates prepare. it may affect how much they hide how much they prepare. obama's answer is that i am not having as much time as romney to prepare because i am so busy being president. romney is saying, you are dusting natural ordator. how they prepare is a big part of the media -- of the spin factor.
>> should we get rid of the expectations game, and bring in to play the exhaustion game? >> just by members of debates? >> new hampshire mattered. kennedy and nixon, and wisconsin. hubert humphrey only got water districts. kennedy got six. thanks to one of the roosevelt sons, franklin, and j kennedy's money, kennedy won. the catholic issue was seemingly dissolved from the primaries. it came back in the general election there is simplicity of what we need.
-- it came back in the regional election. simplicity is what we need. >> we had a unique circumstance in 1992. where we had three. and you mentioned -- 3 participants. we have a question -- what was the third doing? you could tell me how well he articulated that. but ross perot joined the two candidates from the democratic and republican parties. bush and bill clinton. we have a third-party candidates now. they are not as perhaps promising in some ways as ross perot or other third-party candidates. the question here from one of our twitter observers -- what have we lost by excluding third- party candidates from the debates? >> we have lost third-party candidates.
[laughter] >> and obviously some third party supporters. and i mean this in an objective way, but excluding those who do not, by the numbers, have the chance to hold office -- what do we lose? >> i think we lose risk, people willing to take a risk, given the point that they are already behind, or not likely a person to be chosen. when you think about the primary season's -- often there much more productive because you have people like a ron paul. who are willing to bring up questions, make statements that the primary candidates will not make, because there's too much risk for them. one of the things that the independent or the third party candidates do is move the discourse and a way that is not
allowable when you have the two candidates. >> our system is already, before we had party debates, right against third-party candidates. i would like to see us go back to a genuinely independent sponsor like the league of women voters. the criteria they have for the participation of third-party candidates is prohibitively taw. >> i would like to thank the panel. i think we are having an informative discussion. maybe more informative than we will see wednesday night. i hope that is not the case. [laughter] here is my question will start with an american president who cannot tell a lie. here we are in 2012. all of us beginning to except fact checkers as something that
is necessary. to me that is kind of a scary proposition. we have the political spin. but if something is not done, we will look back this 30 years ago -- what can be done journalistically to eliminate the need for fact checkers? or at least point out that this is ridiculous. >> we need to respond. is there a chance to basically hold candidates more responsible from the start? >> no. why should we? why should we put ourselves above politicians. we have done enough to the base politics in this country. let us send it. but it is not have any more attacks on the president.
let us go on pursuing, hopefully improving this god-given thing the founding fathers gave to us. >> i think one of the problems in militating against serious change is now this absolute flood of money that is pouring into the system. and it is not just republicans and democrats or whoever. it is all of these super pacs. as long as there are seemingly limitless funds, and reduced then there really is no incentive for the candidate to tell the truth. i do not see for the -- to beat them back into line. >> it is primerica's of the candidates who know full well
that if i say something that is a lie or somewhere in that range. the washington post fact checker does criticize -- if you read that, that is some substantive stuff. going back and forth. it is a very detailed way of betting those. who is going to listen? who is calling to read? >> i just wanted to say, i think the most interesting quotation to come out of this campaign was mitt romney's pollster who said -- we will not allow our campaign strategy to be dictated by fact checkers. that says it all. >> interesting moment. our last question in the studio. >> we all remember -- republican
primary debates. do we maybe have too many debates that overlap and do not really contribute much more to the actual this fashion? i think back to where -- once the primary candidates are selected, the electoral board sets up a limited number of debates with predetermined issues. they are diverse. and those for the debate people who focus on -- within a month of the election. and that is it. >> that is the british model. so, here on our panel debates, are closing question, too many? to much? -- too much.
>> a lot of people watch these. they are important debates. i do not think there are too many. >> two words for journalism critics and others. hands off. >> interesting. >> i agree. four presidential debates is about right. i do not think there are too many. with respect to primary debates, there are a lot of them. but a lot of people watch. people are watching them. and i would say that the primary debates serve a different function. there we are trying to choose the party leader. and so that was very dramatic this year. we had a lot of different personalities vying for that.
you are trying to pick a national leader who can inspire. maybe we do not have any more of those. it is a different dynamic i would say. >> thank you for that question. we have come to the end of our time. before we think the panel, on october 18 in richmond, va. -- our sponsors are sponsoring a town hall, looking back at the first town hall debate. i would encourage you if you are available to go to bat. -- to go to that. here is the museum with an ongoing exhibit that looks at the media's coverage of the campaign every four years. october 23, a program in the theater. it will be the first one i believe in 20 years from looking at the media coverage to date and getting perspective from
the guests. i believe there the first anger for a debate both to be women. whether you think there are too many or too few, we encourage you to watch them. and to reduce some of the advice here. hopefully it will go beyond the measure of who won and who lost, and get to the substantive question that in number of our analysts have pointed out. any provision for free press, free speech, the right of an assembly addition, they informed an electorate which is participatory. i think the panel should get involved. please join me in thanking our panel. [applause]
c-span [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> letter at 12:30, former secretary of state and others look at how new leadership in china will impact relations with the united states feared and live tonight, what engage as president obama and mitt romney have their first debate from the university of denver. our first program starts at 7:00 p.m. eastern. and after the debate, your reaction and comments. >> the first in 45 minutes, a discussion on the role of young voters in the presidential election.